This sourdough loaf recipe is what started it all. It helped me find my sourdough footing and rhythm, which is why it makes two loaves. It has just four ingredients and has been a successful recipe for many, many beginner bakers. I hope you love it.

❤️ Why You’ll Love Sourdough Artisan Loaf

This recipe has turned into a successful first loaf for so many beginner bakers. It uses 4 ingredients, has a flexible time frame, and makes two loaves so you can have one in the fridge ready to bake whenever you want, after just one prep session.

🍲 Ingredients

Sourdough Starter – the leavening agent to sourdough bread. Every good loaf of bread begins with a strong and healthy sourdough starter.

All-Purpose Flour – Even before I started baking, there is one thing that I could always find in my pantry, and that was all-purpose flour. I can’t say the same for bread flour or whole-wheat flour, so I wanted a recipe that included a staple ingredient that can be found in nearly every kitchen, even if you don’t always bake.

👩‍🍳 Bakers Schedule

In the morning, feed your starter.
In the evening, when your starter has peaked, assemble your dough and perform your stretch and folds.
Overnight, let your dough rest on the counter.
In the morning, divide your dough into two equal pieces, shape your dough, place it in your bannetons and either let it rest + bake it, or leave it in the fridge for up to 3 days.

🪄 Tips and Tricks

  • Feed your starter at a 1:3:3 ratio – 1/3 cup starter + 1 cup flour + 1 cup water
  • Wet your hands when you do your stretch and folds to avoid the dough sticking to your hands

🗒 Variations

There are so many variations of bread that you can make from this recipe. It’s an excellent starting point, and inclusions make bread so fun and are one of the main reasons I love sourdough so much.

  • Blueberry Lemon
  • Jalapeno Cheddar
  • Cranberry Orange


🗒 Substitutions

This is a fantastic base recipe to use as a starting point for your sourdough journey. If you want to add a depth of flavor the easy way, substitute a portion of all-purpose flour for whole-wheat flour. Instead of 1,000g of all-purpose flour, do 900g of AP flour + 100g of whole-wheat flour.

  • Country loaves


🗒 Best Served With

  • Soup
  • Sandwiches
  • Avocado Toast
  • Butter and Honey

👝 How to Store Leftovers

Store your leftover sourdough bread in a brown paper bag either on the counter or in a bread box. Fresh sourdough bread will stay fresh for only 2 or 3 days.

🤔 Common Questions

How long can bread dough stay in the fridge?

The longer the dough stays in the fridge the more sour it will be. Ideally it should stay in the fridge no more than 3 days or it will over proof.

How do I avoid burnt bottoms?

To avoid burnt bottoms on your loaf, preheat your Dutch oven on top of a baking stone in the oven. The baking stone prevents the bottom of the bread from getting burnt.

4.76 from 33 votes

Beginner Sourdough Loaf

Print Recipe
This artisan sourdough recipe makes two loaves and is perfect for beginners just learning sourdough.
Prep Time:15 minutes
Cook Time:50 minutes
Total Time:12 hours

Equipment

  • dutch oven
  • dough whisk
  • proofing basket
  • food scale

Ingredients

  • 100 grams bubbly sourdough starter
  • 700 grams warm water
  • 1,000 grams all-purpose flour
  • 18 grams salt

Instructions

BAKERS SCHEDULE

  • In the morning, feed your starter with water and flour.
  • In the evening, prep your bread dough and perform stretch and folds. Let rest.
  • The next morning, shape your dough and bake, or place in fridge.

RECIPE

  • In the evening: whisk together water and bubbly sourdough starter. Add flour and salt, mix until the flour is well incorporated. The dough will be sticky and shaggy. Let rest for 45 minutes – 1 hour. After resting, shape the dough into a fairly smooth ball by pulling the sides towards the middle until the dough begins to tighten. About 30 seconds.
  • Bulk rise: let your dough rest on the counter for 8-12 hours. During the bulk rise perform 1-4 stretch and folds anywhere from 15 minutes to 1 hour in between.
  • The next morning: Transfer dough onto a lightly floured work surface. Divide dough into 2 equal parts and shape into rounds. Flip over your dough and with floured hands pull toward you in circular motions to tighten its shape. Place seam-side up into your proofing basket and cover with a tea towel.
  • Let rest for 1 hour or place into your fridge for up to 3 days. Before baking, place your Dutch oven into the oven and preheat to 450 degrees. Once preheated, transfer loaf onto parchment paper, score, and place into the Dutch oven with the lid on. Bake for 23 minutes.
  • Remove the Dutch oven lid and bake for an additional 23 minutes.
  • Let rest for 1 hour before slicing and serving.

Nutrition

Serving: 8g | Calories: 455kcal | Carbohydrates: 95g | Protein: 13g | Fat: 1g | Saturated Fat: 0.2g | Polyunsaturated Fat: 1g | Monounsaturated Fat: 0.1g | Sodium: 875mg | Potassium: 134mg | Fiber: 3g | Sugar: 0.3g | Calcium: 19mg | Iron: 6mg
Course: Side Dish
Cuisine: American
Keyword: Artisan, Loaf, Sourdough
Servings: 8
Calories: 455kcal
Cost: $5

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Recipe Rating




36 Comments

    1. Hi! I’m so glad you love it, my soup book has the soup bowl recipe in it.. I’m working on a blog post further explaining. For right now, take this recipe and separate it into 300g mini loaves 😊

  1. 5 stars
    I LOVE this recipe. I’ve made it dozens of times over the last few months. If I want to use bread flour instead of AP flour, how does that convert?

  2. If you put the dough in the fridge, do you let it come to room temperature before baking? What is the proper process if you refrigerate the dough?

  3. I just received my starter! Now to invest in all the equipment. 🙂 What size Dutch oven do you use? And do you have favourite proofing baskets?

    Thank you! Can’t wait to try this recipe.

  4. 5 stars
    This turned out great using 900g AP and 100g of whole wheat (like you recommended) but today I didn’t have enough AP for that so I used 700g of whole wheat and 300g of AP and it seemed to get too crispy. Does whole wheat change the baking time significantly?

  5. 5 stars
    LOVE this recipe and have it memorized already. I typically half the recipe and truly have learned so much from you!! Taking the pressure of perfection off has made me realize that making bread is cheap therapy lol!

    I live in Florida so I have found that using about 20g less of water really helps my loaves.

  6. 5 stars
    Very easy to follow ! Just wondering after I left my dough to rest overnight in the morning it was still a bit sticky do you know why ?

  7. 5 stars
    I am so very grateful that I found you! Through this recipe I finally understand how to make sourdough bread. The schedule and leaving the dough out has been a game changer. I’m looking forward to trying your discard recipes. Thank you so much!

  8. I’m worried I won’t get enough stretch and folds during the bulk fermentation process, if the plan is to leave it out over night. Does it matter if you it do sooner rather than later? Or vice versa, finish stretch and folds in the morning, rest for an hour, and then bake!
    I’m looking forward to trying to this recipe!

  9. I used this recipe for my first try and it came out perfect! Is there a variation for baking in a loaf pan instead of Dutch oven?

    1. I use a black oval roasting pan to cook my sourdough. I have one Dutch oven and I wanna cook both loaves..turns out great!

  10. If I don’t have proofing baskets can I let this just free proof in my Dutch oven? Also during that first rest period of 45 minutes-1 hour do you cover the bowl?

  11. Hi there! LOVED your olive and garlic loaf, and trying this one now. Why does the garlic loaf use 200g of starter (for two loaves) and this one only uses 100g (for two loaves). Also, why would you feed 1/3 cup of starter with 1 cup water and 1 cup flour if you only need 100g of active starter for the recipe? Thank you.

  12. I love that you have the nutrition information but for this recipe it seems a little off. Is there any way to update this? It’s one of the reasons your recipes are my go to!

    1. The nutrition information is automatically calculated when I enter the recipe. Because this recipe is for 2 loaves I’m thinking the nutrition info is doubled.

  13. Made the recipe but the dough is very sticky. Collapsed when I turned it out to shape. Help not sure what I did wrong. The dough was gorgeous in the bin bubbly and glossy. I turned it out to shape and it went flat and I was very sticky.

  14. Thanks for an easy to follow recipe with time! This is so manageable.
    I’ve heard about lamination – should I be doing this or is it unnecessary?

  15. 4 stars
    I noticed something in the “common questions.”
    The question is: “How long can the Bread stay in the refrigerator?”

    The answer given is, ” The longer you keep the Bread in the refrigerator the more sour it will become. ”

    But baked Bread does not become more sour just because it’s in the refrigerator… Dough, on the other hand, absolutely will. 😊
    (Looks like a great recipe to try so… I’m starting my SD starter tomorrow! Can’t wait to try it… but I’m guessing it’ll be about 2 weeks) 😊